The Sonik VaderX RS Carp Rods come under the beady eye of Angler's Mail tackle editor Richard Howard. He's the No.1 products inspector, checking out loads of quality kit every week.

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Description: refined and tweaked carp rods.

Specifications: 10 ft model has a 3 lb test curve; 12 ft version available in 2.75, 3, 3.25 and 3.5 lb test curves; 12 ft Spod and Marker rod; slim and light carbon blanks; super-light, M-Series DL guides; progressive casting action; fast tip recovery; hard-wearing, anti-frap ceramic tip ring; 40 mm guides on the models with under a 3 lb test curve; 50 mm guides on those of 3 lb and above; fold-friendly ringing pattern; a 17 mm black DPS reel seat that will take big pit reels; line-friendly line clip; slim Japanese shrink wrap butt grip; anodised, laser-etched butt cap.

My verdict: hitting tackle shop shelves this month, these refined VaderX RS rods replace the original, top-selling and affordable VaderX range.

The blanks are the same, Sonik realising that they are a winner, but the guides are now super-light, making the rod lighter and the recovery speed faster, for more crisp and accurate casting. The guides are specially coated, so that the rod can be used with braid and mono main lines.

They have also added an armoured finish to the blank, to prevent scratches. You’re still likely to see the original VaderX rods around for the next few months, but they will be phased out, replaced by these updated designs.

These are good looking rods, and they’re very pocket-friendly, despite the refinements, most of them coming in at under £60. My predition is that they will sell well.

I’ll also give you my verdict on some new VaderX RS reels next week, as they are also about to be released.

Prices: £54.99-£69.99.

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